Good morning everyone and welcome to volume 60 of the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Stacks! We have a cash-playable 10-game main slate on this cool and sunny Thursday morning in San Diego, California.
If you are a new subscriber to our NHL Core Plays, please make sure that you are playing all of the lineups that I post on any given day. NHL is such a highly-variant sport and there is truly no telling which lineup will go off. I do have my favorites each day, but even the lineups that I may not think have massive upside sometimes, in fact, have the upside you need to take down a tournament.
The Ottawa Senators are a disaster and any night that they play, you must have exposure to the team shooting the puck against whichever AHL goalie the Sens put between the pipes. With that, we are headed back to having St. Louis Blues exposure despite the fact that they disappointed us on Tuesday at home opposite the Arizona Coyotes. We can excuse that game as the Yotes have been running hot in front of Darcy Kuemper who is playing Vezina Trophy-like hockey. Anyhow, the Senators are allowing the most shots against, the most goals against, and they have the worst puck control numbers. Take a look at the Blues top line (Brayden Schenn – Ryan O’Reilly – Robert Thomas) and top power play unit (Schenn – O’Reilly – Tyler Bozak – Jaden Schwartz – Alex Pietrangelo). If you’re hesitant to go fully in on the Blues, my favorite cheap one-off plays are Schwartz and Thomas.
Unsurprisingly, the Tampa Bay Lightning have the highest implied goal total once again this evening. They are on the road against a Detroit Red Wings team that is without Dylan Larkin, Mike Green and Gustav Nyquist, who was traded away. Detroit has the fifth-worst penalty kill and they are allowing the fourth-most goals against on the eighth-most shots against. Contrast that to the Lightning, which owns the best offense in the league. In this game, my priorities will be stacking the top power play unit (JT Miller – Steven Stamkos – Brayden Point – Victor Hedman – Nikita Kucherov) and then the team’s “second” line (Point – Kucherov – Tyler Johnson).
I rarely like targeting Boston, but I think we can exploit them tonight on the road against the Winnipeg Jets. I am going to focus on the Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler – Patrik Laine line as they should be able to stay away from the Patrice Bergeron line. Tuukka Rask (who should be in net for the Bruins) has had a strong second half of the season, but he struggled a few days ago on the road in Columbus. Meanwhile, Winnipeg has a more forceful offense that should be able to hang four on Boston and continue the road squad’s two game loss streak.
Other Notable Stacks
The stacks I wrote about above are the ones that I project to be highly-owned. When I write “highly-owned”, on an 10-game slate that typically means ownership of about 25% in GPPs. The stacks above also tend to be expensive. So, you will need to use some of the below mentioned stacks as fillers or as one-off individual plays to complement your high-priced stacks.
Other stacks that you should have exposure to tonight are: Sharks 1 (Logan Couture – Timo Meier – Joe Pavelski), Predators 1 (Ryan Johansen – Filip Forsberg – Wayne Simmonds), Capitals 1 (Evgeny Kuznetsov – Alex Ovechkin – Tom Wilson), Coyotes 1 (Vinnie Hinostroza – Brad Richardson – Michael Grabner), Flyers 1 (Sean Couturier – Claude Giroux – Oskar Lindblom).
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There were some questions in the Slack chat over the first month of the season about how to find the lines that I list as my top stacks on the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Cheat Sheet. Head over to either DailyFaceoff.com or LeftWingLock.com to see which skaters are on each of a team’s lines and then build your line stacks. For example, if you see that my top stack of the day is “PIT PP1 / 1”, look at one of the two sites listed above and you will see that the top power play unit of the Pittsburgh Penguins consists of Patric Hornqvist – Evgeni Malkin – Sidney Crosby – Kris Letang – Phil Kessel. The team’s top line features Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist. I decided to leave off the players’ names from the line stacks because of the fact that they may change before the game or after the team’s morning skate (if applicable). Both sites I mentioned are updated regularly and typically accurate. If you’re ever lost, just ask questions in our Slack chat.
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Feel free to comment here or post a screenshot or photo on Instagram and remember to tag me @NotTonyM. I am always open to feedback and critique. Just remember, I respond to respect and love in whatever the message is that you want to share. Good luck!
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